This is an opinion editorial by Justin O’Connell is an author and founder of GoldSilverBitcoin.com and a contributor for Bitcoin Magazine.
Socialist regulators worldwide wish to curtail Bitcoin’s consensus method: proof of work. They are cardholders of an environmental, social and governance (ESG) cult, seeking carbon neutrality per the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 to limit global warming. In short, they want to roll back civilization to neo-feudal times. Since bitcoin poses competition to central bank fiat currencies, regulators have been instructed by corporate special interests groups that the “Bitcoin Experiment” is bad for the environment and must be stopped.
On July 16, 2022, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin tweeted his displeasure with energy consumption in crypto mining. “It’s time to learn the truth about crypto,” wrote the commie. “Let’s start with the obscene amounts of electricity needed to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Families and businesses in America will pay the price for crypto’s mining ventures.”
It’s important to note that whenever politicians discuss “crypto” mining as it relates to the environmental toll, they are speaking primarily of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, due to their energy intensity. Specifically, they’re talking about Bitcoin.
The United States, which is home to more than one-third of the global computing power dedicated to mining bitcoin, has turned its attention to domestic miners and their impacts on the environment and local economies. The move has been at the behest of socialist Senator Elizabeth Warren, who noted her concern in June 2021 over the environmental toll of proof-of-work (PoW) mining.
On December 2, 2021, Senator Warren sent a letter to New York-based bitcoin miner, Greenridge Generation, in which she requested information on the company’s environmental footprint. “Given the extraordinarily high energy usage and carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin mining, mining operations at Greenridge and other plants raise concerns about their impacts on the global environment, on local ecosystems, and on consumer electricity costs,” the letter noted.
On January 20, 2022, a Committee Hearing on “Cleaning up Cryptocurrency: The Energy Impacts of Blockchains” marked the start of an investigation into the blockchain’s environmental impact, with a particular emphasis on PoW and Bitcoin.
On January 27, 2022, eight Democrat members of Congress, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, “sent letters to six crypto mining companies raising concerns over their extraordinarily high energy uses.”
In the letter, Senator Warren evoked the same concerns as in the December 2021 letter to Greenridge, stating she and her colleagues observed, “Bitcoin mining’s power consumption has more than tripled from 2019-2021, rivaling the energy consumption of Washington State, and of entire countries like Denmark, Chile, and Argentina.”
Senator Warren requested information from six companies, including Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings, Stronghold Digital Mining, Bitdeer, Bitfury Group and Bit Digital. Questions revolved around their mining operations, energy consumption, possible impacts on the climate and local environments, as well as the impact of electricity costs for American consumers.
On June 3, 2022, New York regulators passed a two-year moratorium on proof-of-work mining in the state, citing New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires New York’s greenhouse gas emissions be cut by 85% by 2050. One section of the bill calls for conducting a statewide study on the environmental impact of proof-of-work mining operations.
Representative Anna Kelles sponsored the legislation. “My bill is not a ban on Bitcoin,” Kelles gaslit. “It’s not even a ban on crypto-mining. It would not restrict the ability to buy, sell, invest, or use crypto in [New York state].”
New York City Comptroller, Brad Lander, feared a strain on energy caused by mining. “New York state is reaching a pivotal time in its attempt to electrify the energy sector, and the current proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining in New York state diverges from our goals by increasing our reliance on fossil fuels, thereby creating additional financial stressors and endanger investments for New York City,” he wrote.
The legislation warns of increased mining in the state. “The continued and expanded operation of cryptocurrency mining operations running proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions will greatly increase the amount of energy usage in the state of New York, and impact compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”
The pressure is not just coming from regulators and politicians, but local bureaucrats too. Chelan County, Washington hiked hydroelectric power rates for bitcoin miners by 29%, which went into effect June 1, 2022. The miners there once paid a lower, high-density load rate for their electricity. “What we did as a commission, and what we did as a utility was industry-leading, to create a new rate for this type of demand,” Gary Arseneault, a Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioner, told News Radio 560 KPQ. For mining companies with substantial investments, Chelan County has reportedly approved a transition plan to increase rates.
Malachi Salcido, CEO of Salcido Enterprises, said the new rate will force him to convert his mining facilities into data farms. “Do you really want to be in the business of regulating what kind of processing happens on servers in your territory,” Salcido said.
European authorities want to ban bitcoin mining too. Swedish financial regulators and the European Commission considered banning proof-of-work, according to documents published by German website netzpolitik.org.
Released under the EU’s freedom-of-information laws, the documents show that at a November 2021 meeting, Swedish financial and environmental regulators and the European Commission’s digital policy arm discussed banning trading in proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin.
An unnamed attendee didn’t “see [the] need to ‘protect’ the bitcoin community,” noting it should be nudged towards the more environmentally friendly proof-of-stake, as Ethereum had done. The documents had been in part redacted due to an “ongoing decision-making process.”
Moreover, the sustainable finance chair at the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) proposed a proof-of-work mining ban in the European Union in MiCA, the EU’s legislation for digital asset governance. The proof-of-work ban, however, was not included in the final bill.
For now, attempts by European lawmakers to ban proof-of-work mining have failed to receive the required votes in a EU Parliament committee vote. “It seems that reason and common sense prevailed,” Paris MEP Pierre Person tweeted. “We must continue to defend the principle of technological neutrality. Europe must remain in the global competition!”
According to an anonymous Decrypt source, there were two alternative compromises related to the watered down version of the ban on unsustainable protocols, all of which were rejected. “The proposal that caused all that mobilization will not be part of the [MiCA] text,” the source added, referring to the widespread opposition to a proof-of-work ban.
Furthermore, the European Green Party tabled yet another diluted version of the original text. “Crypto assets shall be subject to minimum environmental sustainability standards with respect to their consensus mechanism used for validating transactions, before being issued, offered or admitted to trading in the Union,” the revised proposal read.
Bitcoin Versus International Communism
Communist regulators, who are in power all over the world, want to ban Bitcoin. Being the gaslighters that they are, they’ll tell you they are not banning Bitcoin — only proof-of-work mining, because Bitcoin can adopt proof-of-stake. They’re fools, and they’ll come for proof-of-stake eventually. Say “no” and educate yourself. There is an international putsch — a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt — to end the Bitcoin Experiment; it won’t ever relent and neither can those who wish to live in a world of monetary choice.
This is a guest post by Justin O’Connell. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.